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Pei Zhang, Xuguang Hu, Bin Liu, Zhe Liu, Cong Liu, Jianming Cai, Fu Gao, Jianguo Cui, Bailong Li, Yanyong Yang
(Department of Radiation Medicine, Faculty of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:1457-1463
Carbon ion radiotherapy has been shown to be more effective in cancer radiotherapy than photon irradiation. Influence of carbon ion radiation on cancer microenvironment is very important for the outcomes of radiotherapy. Tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells (DCs) play critical roles in cancer antigen processing and antitumor immunity. However, there is scant literature covering the effects of carbon ion radiation on DCs. In this study, we aimed to uncover the impact of carbon ion irradiation on bone marrow derived DCs.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Bone marrow cells were co-cultured with GM-CSF and IL-4 for seven days, and the population of DCs was confirmed with flow cytometry. We used an Annexin V and PI staining method to detect cell apoptosis. Endocytosis assay of DCs was determined by using a flow cytometry method. DCs migration capacity was tested by a Transwell method. We also used ELISA assay and western blotting assay to examine the cytokines and protein expression, respectively.
RESULTS: Our data showed that carbon ion radiation induced apoptosis in both immature and mature DCs. After irradiation, the endocytosis and migration capacity of DCs was also impaired. Interestingly, carbon irradiation triggered a burst of IFN-g and IL-12 in LPS or CpG treated DCs, which provide novel insights into the combination of immunotherapy and carbon ion radiotherapy. Finally, we found that carbon ion irradiation induced apoptosis and migration suppression was p38 dependent.
CONCLUSIONS: Our present study demonstrated that carbon ion irradiation induced apoptosis in DCs, and impaired DCs function mainly through the p38 signaling pathway. Carbon ion irradiation also triggered anti-tumor cytokines secretion. This work provides novel information of carbon ion radiotherapy in DCs, and also provides new insights on the combination of immune adjuvant and carbon ion radiotherapy.